Friday, November 20, 2015

The Great Griffey Frankenset: Page 6

Welcome to The Great Griffey Frankenset!

If you're not familiar with the idea of a Frankenset, it is a customized set of cards properly sequenced by card number that all tie into a connecting theme. Some Frankenset themes include whole teams, mini-collections, and even just generally great cards or photos. This is the first Frankenset I'm aware of that is made up of just one player: Ken Griffey, Jr., the man of a million cards. I took the liberty of including things like inserts, parallels, cameos, and oddballs for the sake of variety and because it's just more fun that way. Enjoy!

Here is page 6 of the Great Griffey Frankenset:

Completeness of page: 9/9

Completeness of the Frankenset so far: 100% (54/54)

Team distribution so far: Mariners: 43/54 (80%), Reds: 10/54 (19%), White Sox: 1/54 (2%)

Cards not listed in Beckett Magazine: 2/9 (22/54 total, 41%)

Approximate retail value of this page: $84 ($1517.50 running total)
Page 6 notes: We have a whopping five parallels on this page - more than on any page so far. And one of those parallels is a sweet cameo. As you can see this is also the lowest page value so far which goes along with what I was expecting. As the numbers climb, the total page value should continue to fall. Any really high-value pages forthcoming (and there will be a few) will be statistical outliers.

Page 6:

46. 1989 Topps Major League Debut #46

Technically this small retail set came out in 1989, but I've always classified it as a 1990 set because of the design. I've seen these advertised as Tiffany cards because of the white paper stock they're printed on, but the truth is there is only one version of this card, and Tiffany it ain't. This very early Topps issue is one of the lesser-known Griffeys to be had from that year.

47. 2008 SP Authentic Marquee Matchups #MM-47 (w/ Greg Maddux)

Here's two Hall of Famers in uniforms other than those of their heritage teams. Being a 90's kid, I'm all about Greg Maddux and his mind-boggling four consecutive Cy Young Awards (Randy Johnson, the only other pitcher to accomplish that feat, also has a card in this set with Junior). Griffey had 34 at-bats against Mad Dog in which he hit .294 with two home runs. A much younger Junior than the one you see on this card also managed to homer against Maddux in the '92 All-Star Game, the first year of Maddux' Cy Young run. By the time this card came out, both were late-year veterans on the verge of retirement.

48. 1996 Score Artist's Proof Jay Buhner #48 (cameo)

Nobody has more cameo cards with the Kid. These guys shared the outfield of the Kingdome for 10 years, and they were genuine pals. This is one of my favorite candid shots of the two, and it won't be the last in the Frankenset.

49. 1995 Bowman's Best #R49

I'll be honest - I was conflicted with this selection. There just aren't many Griffey cards numbered #49. This is the first time in this Frankenset I had to settle. Nothing against Bowman's Best (I love the giant chrome team logo), but this is hardly my favorite card. Maybe if I had the refractor version...

50. 1997 Stadium Club #50 Matrix

Here is one of my favorite parallels of all time. This printing technology is called Power Matrix, and it could have been the next Dufex. I don't know if Topps still has access to it, but I'd like to see it brought back for 2016 Stadium Club.

51. 1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated #51

Yeah, this one is all photo. I love how far away we are, I love how it's just a tiny bit out of focus, I love the photographers with massive lenses trying to capture the moment, I love all the negative space and the realism. It's like we're sitting in the stands. Just an excellent card.

52. 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces #52 Blue Frame #/125

It's a nice parallel of UD Masterpiece, perhaps the most appropriately-named set ever made. The image is simple: an up-angled portrait with some beautiful interplay between sunlight and shade, the lumbering upper deck of the stadium in the distant background. Everything else is clear blue sky. Also there's a big, blue frame on there which is pretty neat, I guess.

53. 1997 Pinnacle Certified #53 Totally Certified Platinum Red #/3999

Scans don't do this crazy card justice. I won't go into all of it here, but believe me when I say it absolutely attacks your eyes from the front and back of the card with numerous little design elements, the most prevalent of which is a series of multi-angled bands of foil in a circular pattern radiating from the brand logo (you can kind of see them in the scan here). I can only imagine the retinal damage that would result if I bothered to peel off that protective coating.

54. 1995 Donruss Elite Series #54 #/10000

This year for the first time Donruss went die-cut for their Elite Series, and we ended up with what I consider the elite-est of of all the Elite Series inserts. Of course this set would eventually evolve into its own high-end brand with its own aesthetic, but to me it never looked better than it did in '95.

Here's the back of page 6:

Thanks for reading, and look for page 7 next Friday!


  1. You're definitely correct in saying the debut set is 1990. That debut set has always been considered a 1990 set. See the link below, Beckett calls it "1990 Topps debut '89". Any hobby publication I've ever read does the same, though the wording does seem a little jumbled.

    Before 1997 or so, with some minor exceptions, any "non-update" set issued was essentially chronicling the previous year. I guess UD Griffey card #1 is a not-so minor exception :). Then card companies would issue update/traded sets in the fall that would have pictures of guys in new uniforms (sometimes airbrushed, like the Griffey 89 UD card).

    On top of that, though I have no way to prove it, I'm positive that the 1989 Debut set came out in 1990.

    Additionally, you can't even go off the year issued for the name of the set back then. Topps and Upper Deck would usually issue the first series of the next year's set in November. So 1994 Collector's Choice s1 came out in November 1993, etc.

  2. Those Matrix cards were cool. I pulled an Andruw Jones that was pretty good at the time.